December 9, 2021

Real Stars Awards: Najjemba up against Lukwago and Bayo

By Brian Aheebwa
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Fauzia Najjemba (R) against Ethiopia in the first round of the 2021 U17 FIFA Women World Cup Qualifier at Lugogo / Courtesy Image

Uganda Crested Cranes midfielder Fauzia Najjemba has been nominated for the October Fortebet Real Stars Awards alongside Uganda Cranes stars Charles Lukwago and Fahad Bayo in the football category.

The trio had a brilliant time while representing the national football teams and therefore their nominations were anticipated even though the StarTimes Uganda Premier League also kicked off in the same month.

Najjemba’s sharing of the same table with men is because of her performance for the Uganda U20 Women’s National Team, a side that she also captains.

She was an integral part of the girls’ team that ejected neighbours Kenya 10-3 on aggregate to book a date with South Africa in the third qualification round of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup. They will face off early next year.

The Kampala Queens WFC captain caught the eye of Crested Cranes head coach George William Lutalo who summoned her for the senior national team duty.

Najjemba was thrown onto the pitch immediately when Uganda hosted Ethiopia in the first leg of the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers and she would straight away make an impact scoring in the 2-0 victory.

The return leg saw Ethiopia beat Uganda by the same scoreline and the winner of the contest was decided through a shootout.

Najjemba and Hasifah Nassuna scored as the visitors edged their hosts 2-1 to advance to the last qualification round where they will face off with neighbours Kenya.

To seal off her October month in fashion, Najjemba bagged a brace as the Uganda U20 Women’s National Team demolished Burundi 5-1 in the inaugural CECAFA Women U20 Championship at FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru on Saturday evening.

On the other hand, Ashdod FC forward Fahad Bayo had an awesome international window with the Uganda Cranes in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Having managed no single goal in the first two qualifiers when the Cranes drew 0-0 against both Kenya and Mali, head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic resorted to Bayo for goals as they embarked on a doubleheader against neighbours Rwanda.

The former Vipers SC striker would not disappoint the trust earned from the Serbian, scoring in both games as the Cranes won 1-0 home and away.

Meanwhile, Bayo’s national team teammate Charles Lukwago is the other nominee. The former KCCA FC custodian who recently turned pro when he joined Ethiopian giants St. George, kept two clean sheets in the wins against Rwanda.

Najjemba, Bayo or Lukwago will oust Vipers youngster Bobosi Byaruhanga who won the accolade for September.

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